Frontier partners with Hulu, Amazon to explore online TV

Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 09-11-2011

U.S. CLEC Frontier Communications is going to edges of the known carrier universe, embracing the online over-the-top (OTT) TV model. The operator is rolling out the TumTiki online video site, with content mostly contributed by local affiliates, and Amazon.

Not just for Frontier subscribers, TumTiki is available to anyone with Internet access and features premium TV episodes, movies, Web original clips and local content. It streams free TV episodes from major networks, including ABC, NBC, Fox, Food Network, Bravo, FX, Syfy, HGTV, AMC, National Geographic, Oxygen, Comedy Central and TBS; the site also offers users a pay-per-view option for fee-based TV episodes and movies through Frontier's partnership with Amazon.
TumTiki is also a source for local market video content, featuring sports, news and other programming from select local TV affiliate stations.
Frontier is banking on its status as a communications provider that already controls input one for customers, which can act as an aggregator and eliminate the need for consumers to have multiple passwords and content discovery mechanisms.
"TV and movie watchers are very resourceful in searching multiple sites and services to find the content they want, but they are tired of constant searching," said Melinda White, executive vice president of revenue development at Frontier. "Consumers told us they would prefer an all-in-one browsing, searching and viewing experience."
She added, "Giving viewers more control and personalization over their entertainment options is our focus at Frontier Communications. TumTiki offers high-quality, free and video-on-demand paid content, in a convenient Web-based format."
TumTiki, as is increasingly table stakes for such services, also offers a set of social features that lets users create collections of videos with Facebook friends and earn TumTiki badges and points for watching shows. The site also has a patent-pending user interface and algorithms that improve the viewing and interactive experience, Frontier said.